Animation nation – the ‘Chi goes digital

I got a fair amount of ‘ho hum’, ‘yeah right’ (s) from a bunch of you when I floated the idea of Miramichi leveraging its great NBCC animation diploma program into an animation cluster.

It seems that some people are about the business of making this happen.

Miramichi-based FatKat Animation Studios – a little birdie told me that are looking to hire another 40 people.

Not quite enough to mitigate the potential loss of the mill but baby steps, folks. Baby steps.

Just think. If the NB gov and the local econ. dev. folks got together and got serious, in 10 years we could have a serious mini-cluster of animators over there fishin’ salmon, huntin’ deer and ensuring the survival of a community that has been around for 200 years or more.

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0 Responses to Animation nation – the ‘Chi goes digital

  1. Anonymous says:

    What is most interesting is if you actually talk to people who actually do ‘work’in NB and come from Toronto, like several animators, and aren’t piped in from Ontario as management-whose job is usually just to get those lazy maritimers in line-then one of the things that most attracts them to the area is the far more laid back lifestyle.

    Personally, I think a provincial program of mandatory 35 hour work weeks and mandatory vacations, like are common in Europe, would be just the ticket to encourage the knowledge industry. When you work with your brain you simply can’t function for 60 hours a week.

    The other bonus is that it would increase employment. I know lots of people who would take a cut in pay if they could just get a little more time off. This is especially evident in the new computer tech industries, where managers are of the opinion that people really shouldn’t be doing anything but work. I had a manager who actually bragged that his wife had sold their house and bought a new one without telling him because he was always at work. Ironically, and not unsurprisingly, he said at my interview that they ‘work long but not hard’. That was quite true because this guy literally did nothing of value.

    I remember reading a book from the late 1800’s where the loyalist writer was commenting on the acadian ‘way of life’. The difference has always been our british propensity to do nothing but work. We see work as an end in itself, I know people who actually feel guilty if they aren’t working.

    But if the area could actually leverage that and say to knowledge companies-and entrepreneurs, ‘hey, come to NB, where LIFE is better’. In many ways of course it isn’t, but like you say, baby steps.

    If you look at the next generation of innovators we need, it isn’t cheap labour and sweatshops we need, it’s ideas-as fatkat shows. A decent society is far more likely to attract and keep such workers than low corporate income tax.

  2. Trevor says:

    We had these lads at our annual Geeks on Ice hockey tournament in Moncton on the weekend. Fun gang, their attitude is contagious. I do agree the region does need more Fatkat’s.

    Animation has tremendous potential for economic development in our region and we have been training animators in this province for a while. Look for more animation studios to pop up that will specialize in education, gaming and marketing. From my understanding, there is a market for animation outsourcing which NB can play a role.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It comes down to a mixed bag of confusion for government. I’d take a whole series of ‘fatkats’ over spending millions and wasting a whole lot of effort in trying to get a huge company to come here. I have a feeling that once the homegrown talent was here that the big guys would follow.

    Question is, how do you help out and do we need to? Just because there is one or two fatkat’s doesn’t mean it’s going to make much of a difference in the marimichi.

    However, one suggestion that the liberals should be approached with is a television station for New Brunswick, or even a CBC type website for the province. This way, the next generation of creators have some place to show their wares. I fail to see why Newfoundland can have it’s own television channel, Saskatchewan can have its own, but New Brunswick can’t.

    The prairies have had their own stations for decades, this has helped animators out, Manitoba is the animation capital of Canada, and it really doesn’t take much. It’s too bad that we are such a worker oriented society that they don’t even teach art in high schools anymore, yet that is where some of the most satisfying jobs are.

    With the web coming along though, and peer to peer services, there could at least be a website devoted to new things, you can see at giraffecycle just how big the music scene is in Saint John, there should really be more coverage and exposure for stuff like that, but you don’t even hear about it on CBC. Pity.

  4. Gene Fowler says:

    Hey guys,

    wow, it seems our little company has almost become a household name in this province. I like the words you guys are associating the fatkat name with, thanks so much!

    Gene Fowler
    Fatkat Animation Studios